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Comcast Cooking Up Prepaid Broadband Service
$15 for 7 Days, $45 for 30 Days
by Karl Bode 02:27PM Tuesday Feb 19 2013 Tipped by telcodad See Profile
Comcast is planning to take a page out of the prepaid wireless carrier playbook and offer consumers a prepaid fixed line broadband service. According to a report over at Light Reading, Comcast has been trialing a 3 Mbps downstream, 768 kbps upstream no-contract service in Philadlphia since late 2012, though it's unclear if the product will see a nationwide launch. A $70 starter kit will include an Arris modem, cables, and an activation code worth 30 days of service.

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Once those thirty days of service are up, users can pay either $15 for seven days of access or $45 for another 30 days. Given the high margins on slow fixed line service, those prices don't exactly scream value -- and appear priced to ensure the company doesn't cannibalize existing customers with something more appealing.

Users can't have service at at existing Comcast service address, and they can only use the modem included in the starter kit. With those restrictions and the price it's unclear who this is supposed to target. Perhaps those hopping from trailer park to trailer park as they dodge the law for a series of bungled convenience store hold ups and missed alimony payments, clinging to lost hopes and forgotten dreams in a haze of bourbon and stolen credit cards? I kid. Sort of.

Comcast has been pitching the service on Craigslist. The Comcast prepaid broadband website has a little more detail on the offering.

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PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
Premium
join:2003-06-08
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Backup?

I was thinking it could be nice as a backup but I think I'd rather tether off my smartphone if I really needed some sort of internet access and my primary home connection went down.
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Add a signature here
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Soo..

This is designed for people with bad credit.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Soo..

And that will help then with what? I mean you can get better service from pay as you go net providers.Also having no credit or bad credit is no reason to launch this service.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1

1 edit

Do they hold their cableTV gun to your head?

Do you have to subscribe to their cableTV to get those prices like you do for every other broadband service they offer?
/sarcasm
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Do they hold their cableTV gun to your head?

said by newview:

Do you have to subscribe to their cableTV to get those prices like you do for every other broadband service they offer?

Did you read the linked website... at all?

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

Re: Do they hold their cableTV gun to your head?

said by fiberguy:

said by newview:

Do you have to subscribe to their cableTV to get those prices like you do for every other broadband service they offer?

Did you read the linked website... at all?

I've added the /sarcasm tag for those of you who are challenged.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Do they hold their cableTV gun to your head?

The only one challenged was the author.. in black and white there was no way to identify your alleged sarcasm especially when the article specifically discussed what you were attempting sarcasm with.
toro

join:2006-01-27
Scarborough, ON
kudos:7

1 recommendation

Maybe for a summer residence ?

Maybe this could work for someone using a residence only a few months per year.

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Hmmm, why not...

$3/day for the days you actually use it and $0/day for the days you don't use it at all (modem turned off)? (haha)

(Of course, how 'bout any other fees/taxes/etc. being included in the price?)
--
"Face piles of trials with smiles; it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave."
rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

1 recommendation

Its clear who it targets.

It targets the millions of people that already owe comcast a ton of money. Rather than lose there business they just go pre paid. pretty good idea when you think of it.
LinkP

join:2003-05-11
San Jose, CA

Prepaid Comcast

I don't understand this at all. If it's not available to current Comcast customers, does that mean that a truck roll is necessary to connect you to the pole.

This would be ideal when I visit my mom. She has Comcast cable TV, but doesn't want internet. I could buy the gear and pay only when I visit. But since she's a customer (for TV), she doesn't qualify? WTF??
delltechkid

join:2004-11-09
Hermitage, TN

Re: Prepaid Comcast

Does Comcast even disconnect at the pole anymore in markets where they've gone all digital? I just moved from Uverse back to Comcast internet and they mailed me an install kit. I work from home and I never saw anyone come to the house. Now, that's not to say they didn't come, but I never saw them and I sit here pretty much all day.

Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Prepaid Comcast

Not sure. I got Comcast internet a couple months ago after dropping Comcast TV for an U-verse bundle a few years ago. We were sent an install kit but couldn't try to see if it worked since AT&T cut our coax line near our house at the time(Probably so they could be lazy and reuse the coax :/).

AnonMe2

@comcastbusiness.net
I thought they still disconnected in my area. While they are all digital, I still get about 80 channels with a digital TV, no box or cable card required. Maybe they are working on eliminating these non-scrambled channels...

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH
Says you must live in a Comcast Internet-ready household. Whatever that means in their lingo.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

THUGnet

When you need the internet to plan your next criminal activity with your prepaid phone
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Re: THUGnet

Or trying to dodge DMCA notices
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Nice

Except they need to get rid of the retarded restriction of not qualifying if service already exists at address. I don't see what they're trying to avoid here besides a customer who's not paying their post-paid bill.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Nice

Probably that. They shouldn't be providing service to people who don't pay their bills.

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

1 recommendation

Re: Nice

Their getting the money upfront with this, zero risk. They are getting the access charge up front before they turn it on and it has a set time period it works for, plus they are buying their own modem. Surprised cable hasn't done this sooner. Get them hooked again on using your service despite the fact the owe a old bill. If and when they want to get more from you, they pay off the old balance, if not keep collecting the prepaid rev that you wouldn't be getting if this wasn't offered. Its the same as if you wanted to get a cell phone but owe the company money, they will happily sell you a prepaid phone, as it don't matter where the money comes from something is better then nothing.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Nice

They probably want to use the threat of no service as a tool to get people to pay their bills, especially where they are a monopoly, or an effective monopoly. Beyond that, prepaid is fine.

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH

Re: Nice

There is that threat now, either pay your old bill or get nothing. Now its while you work on paying/saving up to pay your old bill off, you can get prepaid internet from us.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Nice

The way I interpret that is that they are not going to provide prepaid service if you own them on the postpaid side. They shouldn't provide it, as the customer hasn't paid their bill. Once they've paid off the bill, THEN they can get prepaid (since they would probably terrible credit at that point).
Seeley

join:2009-01-31
Eatontown, NJ

We should all know by now...

ANYTIME Comcast implements ANYTHING that looks good on the surface, it's ALWAYS for their own pockets in the end. They continually stretch the rules of business ethics to milk customers dry.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
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·Verizon FiOS

jeez, trust a cable company?

what is the world comming to?
while there might be reasons to prepaid for services or products, but cable service is not one of them...

first of all, once they have your money, there is very little incentive to offer good service, or prices. take into consideration what wireless prepaid carriers such as metro pcs, sprint, tmobile and mvnos which resell service do to the customer for the prices they charge... it's probably just as dysfunctional as non-competitive wireline broadband...

nevertheless, I'm thinking if your in the market for prepaid broadband, you could just as easily grab someone's wifi in the neighborhood for cheap or free and have BETTER bandwidth to boot...

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

Someone could, in theory, just connect once per month--beginning, middle, or end (whatever works for the person)--solely for paying bills and such. They might not really want Internet service for anything other than the occasional convenience. If such a person could do that with this package, for $15/month... I can see it being useful. Of course, I could see a weekends-only package being useful, too. (But I don't really think "trust" comes into it. Comcast? ...trust? )
--
"Face piles of trials with smiles; it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave."

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

It's about
"We’ll never require a credit check
or Social Security number."
It gives those people with no/bad credit and those who don't have/don't want to share there SN#.
In return they pay a higher price for very slow service.
It puts a group of people who ComCast normally would not serve in to the potential customer list, just another way to expand in otherwise saturated markets.
Spreading/maximizing plant usage is good for existing users too as it helps pay the fixed costs with little risk to the CC bottom line/increased costs.

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

"very slow"? 3000/768 is still fast enough for one person to do anything "typical" of Internet access except play HD video; but then, the person interested in such a package probably doesn't care about that.
--
"Face piles of trials with smiles; it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave."
mrexcelion

join:2008-08-06

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

Yeah I get by on my 3mb/512kb uncapped DSL just fine.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
but at $15/week-$60/month plus modem is not the best cable value.
12/2 and up would be typical around that price point range in most ComCast areas, where is this is the low value economy tier repackaged.
Not a terrible value for the target market who are accustom to paying more for less, or at least getting billed for more, and then not paying.

NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

I said once per month, not every week; that would make it $15/month (more or less).

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: jeez, trust a cable company?

You are correct that it would fill the need for those that need to bill pay/check in once a month, fill out job apps with a little more privacy then the library or internet kiosk at the airport/mall though many prefer constant availability. and certainly for the vacation home it fits the minimal temporary wired connection for those without the smart phone jones.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Unpaid bills

I remember a few years ago there were companies (such as Local Phone Company) that advertised guaranteed home phone service to those who were shut off by the "meanie" phone company. One of my mother's friends thought that was a conspiracy by Verizon to get their money for unpaid phone bills and then some. They sold dial tone for several times the rate of regular phone service.

Maybe they're marketing this to customers who have accounts in collections to recoup the loss by charging 5x the regular rate and delivering half the service. Hopefully they'll require purchased modems so it takes unreturned equipment out of the equation.

Maybe Comcast could market this under the name of "Local Broadband Company" instead of Xfinity. And they can have those ads depicting Austin Powers saying "Ever been shut off by the meanie Internet provider" (which they aired for Local Phone Company in 2002 when I first moved to Mass).
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

fonzbear2000
Premium
join:2005-08-09
Saint Paul, MN

No contract?

Comcast doesn't have contracts on their normal, residential service which costs about the same for 16mbps down and 2 up so how is this any different?
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David
I start new work on
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join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
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??

I know this will sound dumb, but why not just get a lineshared DSL with no contract terms? even providers like DSLextreme would sell you one at better prices.

Last I checked you can still buy DSL modems on craigslist and ebay for a fraction of what $70 is worth. hell I see DSL modems (a brand new 3360 full install kit) go for not much more than $49 at wal-mart. Sure at&t branded, but a DSL modem is exactly that.

Hate to say it, and maybe I am reading it wrong, but seems like this would give DSL a bit more value. Least hardware wise it would.
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